New rail tunnel set to improve journey times and accessibility

The Leipzig City Tunnel is the centrepiece of a new rapid commuter railway system serving Saxony’s second largest city, as well as nearby Halle and surrounding areas. The tunnel in use since December 2013 cuts journey times and make it easier for people to get in and out of central Leipzig.

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This project is for construction of two parallel, single-track tunnels running beneath the city centre, including stations, ramps, access-ways and above-ground sections of railway. Additional investments in the local railway network ensure an efficient flow of traffic in the tunnel.

Building works were broken down into seven distinct modules:

  • Module 1: Shell construction of the two tunnels and crosscut;
  • Module 2: Shell construction of three ramp structures;
  • Module 3: Construction of an above ground stop called ‘Semmelweisstrasse/Media City’;
  • Module 4: Shell construction of four underground stops at Bayerischer Bahnhof, Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz, Markt and Hauptbahnhof;
  • Module 5: Interior fit-out of the four underground stops;
  • Module 6: Installation of railway equipment and connection of the tunnel tracks to the existing network, including landscaping and other finishing-off work;
  • Module 7: Upgrading existing railway infrastructure.

The last module includes adaptations at the connecting junction directly to the south of the new tunnel. This work is required for the rapid commuter railway lines which will run through the tunnel and to ensure a smooth link with connecting feeder lines. In addition, increasing the line speed on the Leipzig – Connewitz – Gaschwitz section of track cut journey times for long-distance trains.

Other works include the electrification of a section of track between Borna and Geithain, including the construction of overhead lines and measures to upgrade systems for safety, control, power, telecommunications and lighting.

Major regional benefits

The 1.1 million residents of Leipzig, Halle and adjacent rural districts benefit most from the scheme. In use since 14 December, the City tunnel makes it easier for local residents to reach Leipzig city centre. It is estimated that the tunnel generates annual journey time savings of approximately 2.78 million hours. Long-distance travellers also benefit from the tunnel through reductions in journey times.

It is expected that the regional economy will receive a boost from the new infrastructure, especially the retail and service sectors which rely on large numbers of visitors. 265 jobs are expected to be created one year after completion.

Total investment and EU funding

Investments for the project “City Tunnel Leipzig" have been divided in three major projects. Modules 1-4 have been co financed by the EU during the 2000-2006 programming period with EUR 127 590 000. Modules 5-6 and 7 have been co financed during the 2007-2013 programming period with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing respectively EUR 77 344 210 and EUR 19 855 790 through the “ERDF Federal Transport Programme 2007-2013” Operational Programme. Total costs for this project over the two programming periods were EUR 960 million.

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